Tag Archives: sculpture

Living Shangri-la to unveil Zhang Huan sculpture

Living Shangrila hotel condo tower Toronto

May 4 2012: Rising, a dramatic sculpture by contemporary artist Zhang Huan, will be unveiled Saturday at this location outside the Living Shangri-la Toronto tower on University Avenue, between Richmond and Adelaide Streets


Living Shangrila hotel condo tower Toronto

May 4 2012: Workers prepare the giant sculpture for its official unveiling ceremony, scheduled for 1-2 pm tomorrow afternoon


Living Shangrila condo hotel tower Toronto

May 4 2012: The large-scale sculpture occupies a space at street level …


Living Shangrila condo hotel Toronto

… and soars above the glass ‘Ice Cube’ at the building’s NE corner …


Living Shangrila condo hotel Toronto

… seen here, from the University Avenue median to the east. This section of the building encloses a pool on the upper level, with a Momofuku restaurant on the floor below. The Momofuku Toronto is scheduled to open in August.


Taking flight: As construction of the 66-storey Living Shangri-la Toronto draws closer to completion, the building’s developer is set to unveil the dramatic sculpture it commissioned for the public art component of its project.

Full-page advertisements published in local newspapers this week announced that the art installation — Rising, by Shanghai and New York-based contemporary artist Zhang Huan — will be unveiled at a public ceremony Saturday afternoon from 1 – 2 p.m.



City Scene: The Brick Man sentry at Vü condos

Vu condos Brick Man sculpture


Brickbats for the Brick Man: The Brick Man sculpture that stands sentry outside the Jarvis Street entrance to the Vü condominium complex seems to take a lot of flak.

When I was shooting Brick Man’s picture last November, several passersby were quick to comment on how “hideous,” “awful,” and “ridiculous” they thought he looks. And when I was standing next to Brick Man one evening in January, chatting with a friend who lives in Vü, a young woman heading into the condominium said: “Isn’t that the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen?”  Her companion thought the sculpture was “a joke.”

From certain angles and in certain lighting I think he looks cool, but other times he does look cheap, tacky, or toy-like, and simply doesn’t suit the spot where he has been installed. Perhaps he’s not appreciated because he’s been put in the wrong place (though I’m not sure just where, on the Vü property, he might look better).

Clearly, he’s one of those public art installations that people will either love or absolutely hate. Like the Eldon Garnet wildlife sculptures at James Cooper Mansion on Sherbourne Street, which have drawn sharp criticism here in the blog since I posted their pics a month ago.

Either way, Brick Man looks like he’s a strong, thick-skinned guy, and I’m sure he can handle anything that gets thrown his way.


A tacky marketing tactic for X2 Condos

X Condo sculpture

A condo ad detracts from views of Shayne Dark’s bold red “Double Vision” sculpture outside X Condos

An affront to art?: I remember the first time I saw the Shayne Dark sculpture, “Double Vision,” outside the new X Condominium tower. The slender, long lipstick-red tubes rising from the sidewalk at the southeast corner of the tall coal-black condo tower caught my attention from more than two blocks away, so I hurried up Jarvis Street to take a closer look.

Because of its striking visual impact next to the building, Dark’s sculpture, which reminds me of bamboo shoots, instantly became one of my favourite pieces of public condominium art. But it didn’t take long before the eye-catching art unwittingly became a tacky marketing tool for X Condo’s sister project, X2 Condos. In next to no time, a garish black, white and hot pink billboard advertising the X2 condo sales centre was plunked in front of “Double Vision.”

Not only does the sign spoil views of the stunning sculpture, it also cheapens the artwork — which I’m certain cost the condo developer a pretty pile of cash. And speaking of cash, I’m willing to bet lawyers could make a good case demonstrating that the sign violates Dark’s moral rights … after all, remember what happened when the Eaton Centre tied Christmas bows on artist Michael Snow’s Canada geese sculpture, “Flight Stop?”

Memo to the clever marketing people at X2: Time to find a more appropriate place to park the sales office sign; perhaps on the south side of Charles Street, away from the sculpture. Please show some respect and class for the art, folks.


Shayne Dark Double Vision sculpture

For readers who haven’t seen it, here is a photo from last August showing “Double Vision” when it wasn’t obscured by advertising. A pink sandwich board sign for the X2 sales office looks much less obnoxious placed away from the artwork.

X2 Condo Shayne Dark sculpture

This is what you see now when you view “Double Vision” from the south